Pokemon GO Players Unlock Silver Tier Rewards for Global Catch Challenge

Pokemon GO players have managed to catch over 1.5 billion Pokemon over the last few days, which has seen the community earn the silver tier reward in the ongoing Global Catch Challenge. With the silver tier unlocked, players now enjoy double stardust as well as double XP and six hour lure modules.

By unlocking the silver tier rewards, Pokemon GO fanatics are over halfway to unlocking the gold tier. If fans manage to catch a total of 3 billion Pokemon in Pokemon GO by November 26th, they will unlock the region-exclusive Pokemon Farfetch’d worldwide for 48 hours. And since Farfetch’d is currently exclusive to Asia, those living in that region will have a chance to catch the Australian-exclusive Kangaskhan instead.
So, how likely is it that Pokemon GO fans will meet their goal come November 26th? According to Niantic, the community is “roughly” at the daily speed necessary to hit the mark, but if players grow complacent, they may ultimately fail to unlock the gold tier.

Great work, Trainers! You’ve collectively caught over 1.5 billion Pokémon and unlocked even more rewards during the Global Catch Challenge.

— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp)

The Global Catch Challenge was off to a slow start, which could be attributed to a number of factors. The winter season may make it less likely for many dedicated Pokemon GO fans to venture out to hunt for wild Pokemon, and that combined with the general lack of new content as of late may not make the game very appealing. However, double stardust may actually see more players return to Pokemon GO and participate in the Global Catch Challenge, as stardust is the scarcest resource in the game.

Whether or not double stardust results in an increase in Pokemon GO players remains to be seen. However, if players keep it up at their current pace, then it’s likely that they will reach their goal of 3 billion Pokemon caught and unlock gold tier rewards. If this is accomplished, even more lapsed Pokemon GO players may be convinced to return to the game, if only for the opportunity to catch the region-exclusive Pokemon Farfetch’d while they have the chance.

Pokemon GO is available now for iOS and Android mobile devices.

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Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM Sample Images

Ahead of our full review, here are some sample images taken with the new Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM lens, mounted on a Canon EOS 6D Mark II camera body.
A gallery of sample images taken with the Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM lens.
Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM JPEG Images

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OnePlus 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S8: what makes the difference?

Design: glass or metal?
With the OnePlus 5, OnePlus has opted for a more pleasant design compared to previous generations, similar to that of the iPhone 7 Plus. However, forget about glass, the model is of metal. The slightly curved body makes it ergonomic and the Gorilla Glass 5 protects it from scratches and impacts, making the assembly meticulous in every detail. The fingerprint reader is positioned at the front, making it easily accessible. It’s just a shame that the camera sticks out of the casing.

No glass for the OnePlus 5. / © AndroidPIT

It’s quite hard not to appreciate the lines and assembly of the Galaxy S8. Being slim and compact despite its size of 5.8-inches, it incorporates an Infinity display that leaves no room for unnecessary edges. The positioning of the fingerprint reader isn’t ideal and has often been criticized because it’s too close to the camera lens. The S8, in addition to Gorilla Glass 5, also offers IP68 certification. Glass at the front and rear makes the smartphone more pleasant, but it leaves a lot of smudges (you’ll probably want to clean your dirty hands).

The Galaxy S8 offers a unibody of glasset and metal. © AndroidPIT

Opinion by Jessica Murgia

I prefer the Galaxy S8 but both devices are attractive and well-made.
What do you think?

Screen: no room for edges
The S8 is distinguishable by its Infinity Display and it’s pretty difficult for the OnePlus 5 to beat. With this choice, Samsung offers a wide size in a compact case, in addition to a front display that almost covers the entire surface, so that the user can enjoy their favorite content. The optimization of space with the 18.5:9 aspect ratio, Super AMOLED technology and QHD+ (2960 x 1440 pixels) resolution are convincing both on paper and in action.

The S8 is distinguished by its Infinity Display and it’s pretty difficult for the OnePlus 5 to beat it.

The OnePlus 5’s Full HD AMOLED display is a winner (so far nothing, negative to say), but it’s still surrounded by overly marked edges. The OnePlus 5 display’s brightness is excellent, but if you compare the two screens, you can see which of the two smartphones would win.

The Infinity Display of the Galaxy S8 is convincing. / © AndroidPIT

Software: separate paths
The OnePlus offers a version of software closer to Android Stock, making room for customization. The experience with OxygenOS is enriched by newly implemented features, such as the night play mode or ‘do not disturb’ mode that activates during game sessions. The OnePlus 5 is designed for those who really want to get their hands on the heart of the device: with custom ROMs, you can enjoy it as you please.
Samsung has streamlined and improved its interface (Experience UX) and now offers Game Launcher to fully enjoy the gaming experience. Bixby could be one of the S8’s strong points, but as of the time of writing the feature has yet to mature. What’s the result? A pretty much useless physical button (for the moment).
Both devices run Nougat and will begin updating themselves towards Oreo.

The upgrade to Android Oreo will arrive on both devices. / © AndroidPIT

Performance: as smooth as wheels
You needn’t worry because they both incorporate two excellent processors: Snapdragon 835 for the OnePlus 5 and Exynos 8895 for the S8 on our market. Samsung offers 4 GB of RAM on its chip, and OnePlus offers 6 GB or even 8 GB of LPDDR4x RAM, even if you don’t need it.
In terms of performance, they are both well suited to multi-tasking and performance-hungry games. However, the OnePlus 5 provides a slightly higher fluidity overall that deserves to be mentioned.

OnePlus 5 vs Galaxy S8 benchmarks

 
3D Mark Sling Shot Extrme ES 3.1
3D Mark Sling Shot ES 3.0
3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited ES 2.0
Geek Bench Single Core
Geek Bench Multi Core
PC Mark Work 2.0
PC Mark Storage

OnePlus 5
3068
3932
38684
1944
6603
6592
4975

Samsung Galaxy S8
3174
3217
27330
1983
6402
6135
4644

Camera: the optical stabilizer makes a (small) difference
The OnePlus 5 brand focused on the camera and introduced two lenses, a 16 megapixel Sony IMX398 with an aperture of f/1.7 and a 20 megapixel Sony IMX350 with an aperture of f/2.6. Selfies are entrusted to the Sony IMX371’s 16 megapixel lens with an f/2.0 aperture. In broad daylight, the OnePlus 5 offers stunning photos which are rich in detail and beautiful colors. On the one hand, the camera offers superb portraits thanks to the bokeh effect, but on the other, it uses zoom in the wrong way.
Samsung has not integrated a dual camera on the Galaxy, but it does have a 12 megapixel main camera with an aperture of f/1.7 and is equipped with an optical image stabilizer that does a great job. It’s particularly the image stabilizer, which is absent on the OP5, that makes the difference. At the front of the device, there is an 8 megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/1.7. One of the advantages of the S8’s camera is that it even offers superb photos in automatic mode: bright and well-balanced. As for the software, the camera app is very fast even when the lighting conditions aren’t ideal.

Camera comparison. / © AndroidPIT

Greater battery life for OnePlus 5
3,300 mAh for OnePlus 5 and 3,000 mAh for Galaxy S8, but numbers don’t always tell the whole story. In this case, it’s not worth mentioning the benchmark results because we’ve obtained different results with the Galaxy S8. Speaking of experimentation, the OnePlus 5 is able to last a whole day while in intensive use (the trip from Berlin, London and Paris in 24 hours proves it), but not the Galaxy S8.
Technical specifications

OnePlus 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S8 technical specifications

 
OnePlus 5
@VARIANT

Dimensions:
154.2 x 74.1 x 7.25 mm
148.9 x 68.1 x 8 mm

Weight:
153 g
152 g

Battery size:
3300 mAh
3000 mAh

Screen size:
5.5 in
5.8 in

Display technology:
AMOLED
AMOLED

Screen:
1920 x 1280 pixels (420 ppi)
2960 x 1440 pixels (568 ppi)

Front camera:
16 megapixels
8 megapixels

Rear camera:
16 megapixels
12 megapixels

Flashlight:
Dual-LED
Dual-LED

Android version:
7.1.1 – Nougat
7.0 – Nougat

User interface:
Oxygen OS
TouchWiz

RAM:
6 GB8 GB
4 GB

Internal storage:
64 GB128 GB
64 GB

Removable storage:
Not available
microSD

Chipset:
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Samsung Exynos 8895 (Samsung Galaxy S8)Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (Samsung Galaxy S8)

Number of cores:
8
8

Max. clock speed:
2.45 GHz
Sorry, not yet available!

Connectivity:
HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 5.0
HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth

OnePlus 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S8: Which one to choose?
It’s not an easy choice, as both smartphones are excellent, especially in terms of performance. The designs are different but also subjective, it’s really up to you to choose between metal and glass. The Galaxy S8 incorporates a screen that follows the current trend and the Game Launcher will do justice to your gaming experience.
If you don’t have a preference for software (one of the things that really sets these two devices apart), you should be guided by your use of the device (e.g. the battery and camera) and, last but not least, the price. The Samsung Galaxy S8 sells for around $580, whereas the OnePlus 5 costs around $530.
What do you think? Which of these phones sounds right for you?
 

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Facebook will show which Russian election troll accounts you followed

Facebook is building out a tool to show which Facebook Pages or Instagram accounts associated with Russia’s Internet Research Agency election troll farm you Liked or followed. Launching by the end of the year as part of the Facebook Help Center, the tool will show a list of all the IRA accounts you followed.
The IRA is a group based in St. Petersburg, Russia with ties to the Kremlin. It’s been exposed as an office organizing purposeful disinformation campaigns to disrupt the 2016 U.S. presidential election by sowing division in the country. Facebook is now on a mission to thwart future election meddling, and be as transparent as possible about previous election interference.

However, this tool will not show whether you saw ads or organic posts from the Russian troll accounts. That’s important, because paid reach and reshared posts by other users are how many of the 146 million Facebook and Instagram users encountered election interference content. Facebook has said 29 million Americans saw Russian troll content directly shared to their feeds, but 126 million total saw posts including reshares, with 10 million seeing ads. Twenty million Americans saw a combination of Russian troll ads and direct posts on Instagram.
Providing a list of all the individual Russian interference posts a user saw or interacted with could be more useful. At the very least, this new tool could list accounts whose content users saw or clicked, even if they didn’t follow the account that created it. But Facebook has contended it would be technically difficult to dredge up all that information. During the Senate hearing on election interference, Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch said “It’s a much more challenging issue to identify and notify reliably people who may have been exposed to this content on an individual basis.”
Congress gave Facebook, Google and Twitter until today to detail plans for improved transparency around election interference, so we’ll see if Google and Twitter come out with their own disclosures.

Featured Image: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch
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Americans are spending Thanksgiving fighting for net neutrality

Earlier this week, the Federal Communications Commission released its final plan to kill off the net neutrality policies put in place by Barack Obama. It did this just days before a major national holiday in the United States, and is giving the public just three weeks to react before the rollback will be voted on. But that timing hasn’t stifled the early response.
To start, BattleForTheNet.com, a virtual meeting ground that’s been put together by free internet advocacy groups and nonprofits, is reporting a surge in the number of phone calls that it’s helped direct to Congress. Almost 400,000 calls have been made this week, according to the website, with 270,000 of those coming in the last 24 hours alone.
Over at Change.org, seven new petitions in support of net neutrality have been started up in the last two days, and older ones (like “Protect Net Neutrality From the Trump Administration”) have gained thousands of new signatures this week. Currently, Change.org logs 21 petitions related to net neutrality.
Reddit is flush with posts calling people to action, with top posters listing emails and phone numbers for members of both the FCC and Congress and offering >
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Samsung Wisenet SmartCam D1 Review

Samsung Wisenet SmartCam D1 Review is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.
What if your doorbell alerted you to the activity going on right outside your front door? Imagine knowing who wants you to unlock your deadbolt at midnight before you get off your couch.  That’s what the Samsung Wisenet SmartCam D1 promises homeowners.
On paper, the Wisenet SmartCam D1 is the ultimate doorbell. Like a regular doorbell, it connects to a chime inside your home and alerts you whenever waiting for you at the front door. Unlike your existing doorbell, it also connects to a smartphone app that sends you an alert when someone is at the door. If you decide that you can’t be bothered to come to the door, a built-in 2-megapixel camera and speaker let you communicate with whoever is outside and tell them to go away.

If all these conveniences sound interesting to you, definitely consider getting a smart doorbell. Just, don’t buy the Wisenet SmartCam D1, even if you find it well below its $249.99 price tag. To justify their place in your home, a smart home product must work reliably. This one doesn’t yet.
Setting Up the Wisenet SmartCam D1
If you have an existing doorbell and chime, getting the Wisenet SmartCam D1 set up is straightforward. Disconnect the doorbell that’s there and replace it with the SmartCam D1. There’s no version of the Wisenet SmartCam D1 that comes with a built-in battery, so count on a more complicated installation process if you don’t already have a doorbell with existing wiring.
Once you’ve wired the SmartCam up and connected the included power regulator for your doorbell chime, it’s time to get the device connected to a SmartCam account and your smartphone. That’s where things first took a bad turn for me. I spent three hours trying to connect SmartCam D1 to the SmartCam+ app for iPhone and Android that it relies on. Account creation went just fine, but I couldn’t get the doorbell to link to my account. I’d get to the Wi-Fi set up, then have the set up fail and start the process over. As it’s a weatherproof doorbell outside the house, I tried boosting the Wi-Fi signal with an extender so that it reached well beyond my front door, thinking my signal was unreliable. That didn’t work either.

It took a week and two support calls with Samsung to get the SmartCam D1 working and syncing with my account. A small link at the bottom of the app’s set up routine allowed me to bypass registering the camera to my account the normal way.
Using the Wisenet SmartCam D1
After the support call that finally got it working, I attached one of the three different colored faceplates the camera includes and started configuring it.
Chimes and Alerts
I spent an hour toggling settings, adding pictures of people who frequently visit my home and getting everything just right. Then, I invited a few people over, expecting to really test the facial recognition features. The camera also detects screams, sirens and breaking glass, according to Samsung.
The SmartCam D1’s included stabilizer.
The first person arrived, but I didn’t know because my smartphone was in another room. By the time the fourth person resorted to knocking on the door I realized the doorbell and the power regulator that it includes weren’t ringing my new analog door chime. No matter, I would just carry my phone until I could get the electrician that added the analog chime to come back and take a look.
Smartphone notifications worked well. The delay that I’d expected between the time someone pushed the doorbell’s glowing button and I got a notification on my phone was minuscule.
Video & Detection
The true brilliance of the Wisenet SmartCam D1 is that it has enough sensors to let you do more than just know when someone is at your front door. It tells you who is there and lets you communicate directly with anyone that you don’t recognize.
Three days after I got the doorbell installed, I took advantage of these features. They worked just as advertised. Without getting off my couch, I politely rejected an ADT sales person’s pitch to install a home security system at a discounted rate by talking to him through the app. The SmartCam D1 has excellent quality video, with options to switch to high-definition if you need to or stay at a lower resolution if you’d like the stream to load faster and stay stable longer.
The SmartCam D1’s glowing doorbell button.
For another three days, I watched from my smartphone as people walked past my front door thanks to presence detection. I liked getting the alerts for anyone that got too close to the house, but realized the app had controls for narrowing its detection zone. Betting that these alerts would get annoying after a while, I narrowed the field of the presence detection and kept enjoying the doorbell. Again, everything worked as it should. SmartCam’s Cloud DVR lets you keep thirty days worth of camera activity from the SmartCam D1 for $4.99 a month. It also unlocks cloud zones, which let you specifically track things that happen in a certain area. These zones allow you to better tune detection and eliminate all the extra alerts the app can sents without fine-tuning.
Past events surface in a timeline on the SmartCam+. This too worked well, though the app would sometimes take a half-minute to begin playing video stored on the SmartCam service.
You use pictures to add face recognition to the SmartCam D1 through its dedicated app.
By day seven, my love affair with the Samsung Wisenet SmartCam D1 was starting to fade and it was all due to the instability of the SmartCam+ app for Android. While trying to turn off the camera’s status light, which screams “I’m watching you” to anyone standing on the sidewalk, the app crashed. Force closing the app and opening it again fixed the issue only for it to return a few hours later. Frustrated, I left the app alone to focus on other projects.
By day eleven, I realized my brother had taken to announcing his arrivals by talking through my front door’s mail slot. When I asked him why, he said the SmartCam D1 didn’t appear to be doing anything. He’d pushed the button and heard a chime outside but he didn’t think I was getting alerts on my phone because he’d stood there for ten minutes the previous night. I pulled my Samsung Galaxy S8+ from my pocket and looked for notifications I’d missed. There weren’t any. I went outside and starting the setup process again.
On my last day with the Wisenet SmartCam D1, I opened the app to see if there was someone standing at my door because I thought I heard a knock there. The SmartCam D1 I’d previously registered with my account, which had worked for days correctly, had suddenly stopped working. Not only was it not sending notifications and chimes, I couldn’t watch HD video or existing footage from the camera.
The Wisenet SmartCam D1 has reset and Wi-Fi buttons hidden underneath its removable bezels.
I thought I could reset the camera using the button hidden underneath its bezel and that should get it working again, but it didn’t. To make matters worse, the electrician who installed the analog chime specifically for the SmartCam D1 was back with bad news. He’d wired everything correctly, but the power regulator that came with the device wasn’t producing enough power to hit the chime.
My experience with the Wisenet SmartCam D1 had ended. Despite three phone calls to technical support and running the setup process so many times that I could do it from memory, I just couldn’t get the camera and app to work together again. SmartCam+ could see the camera, but the camera refused to see my Wi-Fi network, despite using that same network for days. App reviews on the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store indicate that connectivity and app stability are problems for more than just me.
Should You Buy the Wisenet SmartCam D1?

If the Samsung Wisenet SmartCam D1 ever gets a correctly working SmartCam+ app experience, it wouldn’t be a terrible thing to invest in. Using an app to see who is at your front door is convenient and the facial detection does work. The camera is solid, and its night vision is equally good. I really don’t see a problem with the hardware here.
However, this is not a product I can recommend to anyone today because the app and service that it relies on aren’t very good. The camera frequently stops connecting to your account without explanation. Sometimes the app would connect to the camera but still not deliver a notification. It forgets networks without warning.
The Wisenet SmartCam D1 just isn’t as reliable as a smart home product needs must be for you to rely on it day after day.
Samsung Wisenet SmartCam D1 Review is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.
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Vikings vs. Lions 2017 live stream: Time, TV channel, and how to watch Thanksgiving football online

Once again, the Vikings and Lions will clash on Thanksgiving.
The Minnesota Vikings and the Detroit Lions collided on Thanksgiving last year, and the Lions walked away victorious. The roles are reversed with year, with Minnesota in the driver’s seat in the NFC North while Detroit may need to win the division to make the postseason. Their Thanksgiving showdown, which you can watch at 12:30 p.m. ET on Fox (live stream), will go a long way toward deciding how much drama we can expect in December.
Minnesota (8-2) is coming off a huge 24-7 victory against the NFC West-leading Los Angeles Rams in Week 11, extending its winning streak to six games. The Vikings, led by a reinvigorated Case Keenum, have the fifth-ranked offense.
Detroit (6-4) defeated the Chicago Bears, an NFC North rival, 27-24, in Week 11. The Lions are on a three-game winning streak, and they already defeated Minnesota earlier this season. A win against Minnesota on Thanksgiving would put Detroit one game away from the division lead (due to having the tiebreaker edge over Minnesota).
Time, TV channel, and streaming info

Time: 12:30 p.m. ET

Location: Ford Field, Detroit

TV: Fox Sports

Streaming: Fox Sports, FuboTV

Odds: Minnesota is favored by 3 points

Vikings vs. Lions News

Case Keenum is doing work to keep Teddy Bridgewater off the field in Minnesota:

Keenum has been more than a game manager for a Viking team that’s surprised throughout 2017. After a rocky start — losses in Weeks 2 and 4 — the sixth-year veteran has laid the foundation for the league’s ninth-ranked offense. In his last six games, all victories, he’s averaged 240 passing yards per game and a 68% completion rate.
His numbers got even better once Bridgewater returned from injured reserve to push him for playing time. In his last two games, hard-earned wins against Washington and the Rams, he’s thrown for 584 yards and five touchdowns while completing 71.6 percent of his passes.

Vikings make a statement with 24-7 victory over Rams:

It was a big game of the week between two NFC teams atop their division and both with 7-2 records. Both teams had top 10 offenses and defenses. Both teams had multiple game win streaks. And the Rams were the top scoring team in the NFL. But after an opening drive TD, the Rams went scoreless the rest of the game, while the Vikings offense slowly gained momentum over the course of the game en route to an impressive 24-7 win against a very good Rams team.

Lions-Bears snap counts: A’Shawn Robinson, Akeem Spence, Anthony Zettel set career highs:

But Anthony Zettel also played in a career-high percentage of snaps, as did Akeem Spence. While it’s nice to see these guys handle such a heavy workload, it’s also a clear sign Detroit doesn’t trust their depth. And considering how poorly the defensive line played, their starters don’t look all that trustworthy either.
Newcomer Kasim Edebali played in just eight snaps. I know the Lions just added him a week ago, but you have to wonder whether he’s going to last long on the roster, considering how often Bob Quinn likes to shake things up.

Mitchell Trubisky gave the Bears a chance to take the Lions to OT, and Connor Barth blew it:

Trubisky was excellent on the team’s last two drives. He led the Bears on an eight-play, 78-yard touchdown drive to tie things up 24-24. The Lions answered with a field goal on their next possession, taking a three-point lead with under two minutes to play.
The Bears were starting from their own 17-yard line, and Trubisky moved the offense into field goal range. All they needed was for Barth to come through.
The kick went wide right.

Vikings vs. Lions prediction
Indeed, the Lions already beat the Vikings this season. But Minnesota is an entirely different team right now, and it will easily beat Detroit. Five of our eight experts agreed in their Week 12 picks, choosing Minnesota.

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LTA admits child protection failings after coach abused players for years | Sport

The Lawn Tennis Association, the governing body of the sport in Britain, has admitted to child protection failings for allowing a coach to remain in his role for years, despite repeated warnings, until he sexually abused an underage player and was sent to prison in July.
Daniel Sanders, 42, formerly the head coach at Wrexham Tennis Centre, one of the UK’s largest, was arrested in December, and pleaded guilty to seven counts of sexual activity with a girl, and one of causing her to engage in sexual activity. He was sentenced to six years in prison on 26 July, 10 days after Wimbledon ended with a record eighth victory for Roger Federer.
The judge at Mold crown court, Rhys Rowlands, told Sanders when sentencing him that his offences had been “an appallingly bad breach of trust” which had “devastated” the victim and her family .
Sanders, who partnered Tim Henman in doubles as a player and coached Jamie Murray for a period, was a fixture in British tennis for years, a familiar character at the LTA’s headquarters in Roehampton when he captained representative teams.
Until now, the LTA has never publicly admitted its safeguarding failed, nor announced it will hold an inquiry into how Sanders was left in place at Wrexham for so long with young girls and women in his care. The alarm was raised many times about his bullying and sexualised conduct from as far back as early 2012, by several coaches and parents of young players at WTC who made very specific, detailed complaints.
So serious did the concerns become that one parent, who complained Sanders had bullied his daughter for two years, warned in a letter to the LTA’s safeguarding team in January 2014: “I feel Wrexham is a bomb waiting to go off if coaches are allowed to get away with the issues I have mentioned and if everybody, including the LTA, wants to bury their head in the sand, then on your heads be it.”
Richard Hughes, a police chief inspector whose daughter was playing at WTC and complained of bullying by Sanders, had a meeting in 2012 with Bob Moore, the WTC director understood to be responsible for welfare. Hughes says he told Moore he had analysed Sanders’ behaviour, and warned that in his professional opinion, Sanders fitted the profile of a sexual predator.
Yet in the face of these and many other persistent warnings, the LTA and its safeguarding team, Tennis Wales (the national governing body), and Wrexham Tennis Centre cleared Sanders to continue as head coach. The case and the failures – which happened not decades ago but in this modern era of increased awareness and compulsory safeguarding – have fuelled concern that the LTA’s procedures are inadequate, and added to growing arguments for an independent organisation to protect sportspeople.

Daniel Sanders leaving Mold crown court. Photograph: Andrew Price/View Finder Pictures

Sanders had risen up the coaching levels following his years as a talented junior, and worked in Cambridge before becoming the head coach at Wrexham a decade ago. WTC is one of the biggest complexes outside London, with seven indoor and seven outdoor courts, a high-performance centre for promising young players, supported by the LTA and Tennis Wales. Still, Sanders was quite a catch in north Wales, a big personality with a name in the sport, described as charismatic to those he favoured.
Several people who were involved at WTC say Sanders’ worrying behaviour was far from hidden, that he was aggressive, used foul language, made derogatory comments about young players in front of others, and generated a bullying culture. In early 2012, more than one coach put in writing to Tennis Wales warnings that Sanders’ conduct was unacceptable and sexualised towards young female players.
One coach is understood to have reported that Sanders had shown pornographic images at the start of a coaches’ meeting at WTC, and he witnessed Sanders telling a young female player he would string her racket in return for sexual favours. Sanders was also said to have openly talked about rating girl players according to how sexually attractive they were.
Another coach is understood to have reported inappropriate sexual behaviour and told Tennis Wales that Sanders had behaved in a vindictively untrustworthy way towards him. He wrote in his letter that a young female player had suddenly left the centre, that Sanders had given an explanation for that, but the coach was told by numerous people that Sanders had asked the player to send him sexually explicit images of herself.
An inquiry was held in response to these warnings, not by Tennis Wales, but, the Guardian understands, by Moore and another director of WTC, Debbie King. While it was continuing a further coach, a young woman, is understood to have approached King with more information. She said that when she was 17, Sanders had asked her to send him sexual images of herself, which she had refused to do. Then at a coaching conference in 2008, Sanders had invited her to his room, and when she went there, Sanders, who was much older and married, had clearly wanted to have sex with her.
While the inquiry was still proceeding, in March 2012 Peter Drew, the chief executive of Tennis Wales, wrote about it to LTA officials, saying: “There are many issues involved here but no child protection issues have been found.”
The WTC directors completed their report, then the issues were referred to the LTA, which conducted some form of inquiry itself, during which Sanders was suspended. Neither report was made public, and Sanders was cleared in weeks to return to work. Some people who had made complaints were told measures had been put in place to monitor his behaviour and that he had been told to undergo training.
Drew, asked by the Guardian how he reflected now on this, and his statement at the time, did not accept any failings: “The outcome of [the 2012] investigations determined that while there was some unprofessional conduct involved, it did not involve issues of child protection,” he said. “Actions were subsequently implemented by the centre to address the issues that had come out of those investigations.”
One of the improvements is said to have required Sanders to have clear glass in front of his office, so he could be seen at all times, but several people have said that within a short time, he had covered up the glass. One coach, extremely concerned, wrote to the LTA in September 2012, saying parents were again complaining about Sanders bullying their children and that the investigation had been inadequate.
The reply, from Valerie Judge, an LTA safeguarding manager, said in effect that Sanders had been required to undertake training, and WTC itself had undergone safeguarding training. Judge said she could do nothing further and that parents should contact the LTA directly if they had concerns.
Hughes, a police officer then of 30 years experience, recalls that the day in 2012 when he asked Moore to meet him, at a Wrexham garden centre, and discuss Sanders, the newspapers on the tables were full of Jimmy Savile being posthumously exposed as a sex abuser.
“I told Bob Moore that I had looked just at Sanders’ behaviour and incidents which were known about: the pornography in public, the bullying and arrogance, the mind games he was playing with the girls, and that in my professional view Sanders fitted the profile of a sexual predator,” Hughes said.
“It was the way he acted as if the normal rules of conduct didn’t apply to him. But nothing was done. These people failed to protect children.”
As Sanders stayed in his dominant position despite the complaints, coaches who were well-regarded in north Wales are understood to have left. One refused to use WTC or recommend their players train there and told the LTA about this stance. Some parents took their children miles away, to Warrington and other tennis centres, to avoid Sanders and the environment in Wrexham. Still he stayed in his post. The parents who had raised concerns say they and their children were ostracised and subjected to further bullying.
The father who wrote to the LTA safeguarding team in January 2014, warning Wrexham was “a bomb waiting to go off,” had been complaining to the WTC for two years that Sanders was bullying and belittling his daughter.
The father wrote to the LTA that standards at WTC were unprofessional, that the environment was “not healthy,” that Sanders had been controlling and undermining of his daughter, a promising junior whose wellbeing had deteriorated to the point of her wanting to give up tennis and crying before training.
After Sanders’ arrest in 2016, police officers investigating the case told the girl’s father that Sanders’ behaviour towards her demonstrated the characteristics of grooming.
In his 2014 letter, the father warned: “It is my opinion nothing will get done about the way Wrexham is being run. Dan will still go around with his cocky attitude and the LTA will brush everything under the carpet.”
Two months later, he received a reply from the LTA safeguarding team, which he considers complacent and inadequate. It said: “Thank you for raising these concerns and please be assured the LTA works to promote the safety and welfare of all children and young people. We will be taking your comments on board and seeing where we can provide support for Wrexham Tennis Academy [sic] in this area of work.”
Asked by the Guardian what this “support” in 2014 consisted of, the LTA did not respond with any detail. Sanders was allowed to remain in place at WTC for a further two years and nine months, until he was arrested for having sex with an underage player – including, the court was told, in his office. As recently as last year, Drew approved funding for Sanders to travel to tournaments overseas, as the coach to an underage girl player.
After his conviction, one coach whose concerns had been ignored wrote a highly critical letter to the LTA, saying: “There is still a lot of anger in North Wales about how this man was allowed to continue in his position of trust after so many warnings. Child abuse comes in many forms and there is definitely more than one victim in this case.”
None of the people the Guardian has spoken to has received any acknowledgement of failures from the then directors of WTC, Tennis Wales or the LTA, an apology, or communication that there will be any form of investigation. Hughes was told by the LTA as recently as late September that an “audit” of safeguarding had been done, improvements made at WTC, and there would be no inquiry into the Sanders catastrophe itself.
Then, after the Guardian informed the LTA last week that we would be publishing an article exposing the safeguarding failures, the LTA responded to us, saying it accepted: “The actions we took were not enough and we apologise sincerely for the impact on all those affected.”
The governing body promised to hold an independent inquiry, led by an organisation experienced in social work-style serious case reviews, and to publish the inquiry’s findings. The LTA insisted the decision was taken “five to six weeks ago” following concerns raised by a board member of Tennis Wales, not in response to the Guardian’s approach, and that efforts have already been made to appoint an organisation to conduct the inquiry.
Drew, in his first response to the Guardian, endorsed the decision to have an investigation and said: “We accept the tennis community as a whole missed opportunities to intervene.” Asked to clarify what that meant, and what responsibility he and Tennis Wales accepted for their own failures, Drew did not specify or admit to any fault.
“With regard to further complaints made between 2012 and 2014,” he said, “a point that Tennis Wales feels is imperative for reducing the risk of future such safeguarding incidents is improved processes for sharing of information between the parties involved.”
At WTC, Moore, King and the previous chairman, Geoff Roberts, all resigned after Sanders’ arrest, having been put under pressure to do so. Asked directly why Sanders was allowed to stay in post for so long despite the warnings made to them, King replied on behalf of all three to say: “We do not think it appropriate for us, as individuals, to comment on these matters at this time and would refer you to the statements already issued by the LTA.”
The current directors of WTC, which is a community trust, said that they “fully and unreservedly” apologise to everybody affected by the failures, and have made efforts as new trustees to work with parents and greatly improve the environment and safeguarding.
“The centre … accepts that failings were made in dealing with this case and we are committed to working with all parties to ensure that we learn from the mistakes made and that this is prevented from happening again.”
Vicki Broadbent, a former Welsh international player and senior coach in North Wales tennis for more than 20 years, was one of those who repeatedly raised concerns about Sanders’ conduct.
“A great number of people feel very angry and let down,” she said. “It was baffling that no warning, no matter how specific, was enough to initiate direct action to prevent Sanders’ bullying and inappropriate behaviour. I believe abuse could have been prevented if people had listened and acted. There has to be a full, properly independent inquiry now to identify everything that went wrong; we need proper accountability and lessons must be learned.”
Damian Collins, the chair of the parliamentary committee for culture, media and sport, has suggested an independent body may need to be set up to be responsible for the welfare of sportspeople, after multiple recent revelations of bullying and poor governance. The abuse of young people and adults by Sanders, and the terrible catalogue of multiple warnings which went unheeded by the governing body of British tennis, make a compelling case for it.

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Vikings vs. Lions 2017 odds: Minnesota a road betting favorite for Thanksgiving afternoon

The Detroit Lions are underdogs at the sportsbooks hosting the red-hot Minnesota Vikings in the early game on Thanksgiving Thursday.
The Detroit Lions are 8-0 straight up and against the spread in their last eight home games played in the month of November. The Lions will try to extend that winning streak this Thursday afternoon when they host the Minnesota Vikings.
Detroit is a 3-point home underdog on Thanksgiving Day at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The betting underdog has gone 9-3 ATS in the last 12 games played between these two teams.

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions
When: Thursday, November 23, 12:30 p.m. ET
Where: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
Betting Line / Total: Minnesota -3 / 44.5 Points
Vikings at Lions OddsShark Matchup Report

Detroit Lions
The Lions have been a streaky team in 2017, starting the year off with a 3-1 SU and ATS run, going 0-3 SU and ATS over their next three games and then going 3-0 SU and 2-0-1 ATS over their last three.
Detroit is 1-3 SU and ATS in its last four games as an underdog, but the team’s one win over that stretch was as a 2.5-point underdog on the road against Minnesota back on October 1. Matthew Stafford is enjoying a great season on offense with 2,760 passing yards and 19 touchdowns with just five interceptions thus far.
Since 1934, the Lions have a 36-38-2 all-time record in Thanksgiving Day games. Detroit is a perfect 4-0 SU and ATS over its last four Thanksgiving games per the OddsShark NFL Database.

Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota extended its straight-up winning streak to six games and its ATS winning streak to five games with last Sunday’s 24-7 win at home over the Los Angeles Rams. It was an extremely impressive effort against one of the NFL’s best offenses, highlighting a Vikings defense that ranks fifth in the league in yards per game against with 290.5 and fourth in scoring defense allowing 17.2 points per game. The Vikings are just 2-7 ATS in their last nine games on the road.
Thursday’s total is set at 44.5 points. The UNDER is 7-1 in the last eight games between these two division rivals.
Both of these teams are playing well, and they will go strength vs. strength in Minnesota’s defense facing Detroit’s offense. Each of the last three games between the Lions and Vikings have been decided by a touchdown or less, and this one figures to be another close one.
For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.
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SONOS Speakers HEAVILY Discounted For Black Friday

Richard Goodwin

23/11/2017 – 11:43am

Interested in picking up some SONOS speakers? Well, thanks to Black Friday, you can now do so for A LOT LESS

SONOS speakers are great. I have a bunch in my home and couldn’t imagine life without them. The sound quality, the ease of use, the portability – everything about them is just excellent.
Like Apple products, SONOS gear is not cheap – but once you unbox one and set it up, you will know where all that extra money has gone.
I think I have spent close to $1000 on SONOS speakers over the years, maybe more, but out of that, I have gotten untold hour’s worth of pleasure with friends and family at parties and gatherings.
If you’re thinking about getting some SONOS speakers in 2017/18, now’s definitely the time as, thanks to Black Friday, they are now all heavily discounted over at Amazon.
You stand to save around $50 on most SONOS units right now, which is a pretty hefty saving when you consider the SONOS ONE retails for around $200 normally.
In addition to this, the new Play One speaker now comes with Amazon’s Alexa built into it – so, you can talk to it and get it to do your bidding! 

Start and control your music with your voice. Amazon Alexa built right in.
Play songs, check news and traffic, control your smart home and enjoy all those other helpful Amazon Alexa skills using a single Sonos speaker.
Ask Alexa to play music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn and SiriusXM. Listen to hundreds of other streaming services with the Sonos app.
Connect wirelessly with other Sonos Home Sound System speakers to play music in any or every room.
Enjoy surprisingly rich, room-filling sound from a smart speaker.
Pair two Sonos Ones together in the same room for instant stereo sound. Cannot be stereo paired with other Sonos speakers

SONOS speakers also make great Christmas gifts too, so if you’re stuck for ideas for what to get a loved one, perhaps this is just what the doctor ordered?
Check out the full roster of Amazon’s SONOS Black Friday Deals for a better idea of the types of savings you could make.
And trust me, you will never regret getting a SONOS speaker. I love mine and everyone that I know who has one feels the same.

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